Fredericton — In the capital city, if there’s one thing transit riders know, it’s that all roads lead to King’s Place.
“I’d take the bus to save some money, but I can’t spend one more second of my life sitting outside King’s Place, watching the driver have his 25th smoke of the morning,” said one irked transit rider, Jeremy Willis. “I’m going from Hanwell to campus for god’s sake — why does King’s Place need to be part of my day at all? So I’m just going to pay the $150 or $200 it takes to fill my truck and get around that way.”
“Gas prices are soaring, but then again, so are the godddamn wait times at King’s Place,” said Shannon Dorcas, who has given up on taking the bus to work. “I can’t look at all the weird teenagers and crackheads and overflowing trashcans any more. I don’t care if I have to dip into my retirement fund — I’ll pay whatever it costs for gas.”
The provincial government is giving large tax rebates to landlords and developers who are erecting more high-priced apartment buildings within the city, in hopes of a denser urban population eventually leading to more people taking transit — thus improving the transit system overall.
“If we can just attract more people away from rural areas and into the apartments that cost $1,900 a month, surely these folks will take the bus, and before you know it, Fredericton will be a thriving metropolis,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. When asked whether Higgs himself would even consider taking the bus, he shuddered and said, “Christ, no, with that riffraff?”
City of Fredericton officials all agree that the unique thing about Fredericton is that no matter the time of day, day of the week, or destination, all those taking transit must spend a ton of their time sitting on the bus outside King’s Place.
Mayor Kate Rogers, in a recent council meeting, said the city plans to inject cash into a “Beautify King’s Place” project.
“We’re not going to divert traffic away from this spot — we’re just going to make it a more appealing place to waste half your day,” she explained. “So, possibly we’ll get a mural artist to touch up the exterior. Not one of those dinky local artists, though — we’ll fly in a real artist from Toronto to do it up right.”
Until then, residents are willing to shell out a significant percentage of their paycheques just to avoid King’s Place.
“I’ll pay what it takes to avoid that hellhole,” said northsider Heather McNeil, who was filling up her Volvo at an Irving. “And this is coming from someone who lives in Devon. Devon!”